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Daimler, Renault-Nissan form alliance

STUTTGART, Germany -- Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Motor Co. have joined forces to collaborate on small cars and the development of a commercial van for the European market.

Both vehicle makers have acquired small stakes in each other's companies. The deal also includes sharing engines in the small, compact car segment and cooperating on a small commercial van, likely based on Renault’s Kangoo model.

The alliance, however, is not expected to have any effect on North American operations in the immediate future. 

According to news reports, the companies say the partnership provides economies of scale and research and development cost savings which are essential in recovering from the global recession.

The companies expansion plans will focus on high-growth, emerging markets in Asia.

The record on strategic alliances among automakers has been hit and miss. Mergers between Daimler and Chrysler LLC and an alliance with Mitsubishi Motors were not successful.

The Renault-Nissan partnership, under which Renault holds 44 percent of Nissan and Nissan 15 percent of Renault, is seen as an exception however. 

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